Watermarking with Lightroom and LR2/Mogrify

It’s true, the watermarking facilities currently in Lightroom 2 are a bit limited. Ok, very limited! But all is not lost… Lightroom plug-in programmer Timothy Armes came to the rescue with the well known LR2/Mogrify plug-in, and LR/Mogrify before that, adding fully configurable presentation options. LR2/Mogrify is donationware, and the trial allows you to process up to 10 images at a time, so you can see how well it works.

At first glance, the LR2/Mogrify interface can looking a little complicated, but that’s just because it’s so powerful. Let’s cover some of the basics that you’ll use when watermarking or signing your images.

The first thing you’ll need to do is install the LR2/Mogrify plug-in. Tim’s written full instructions on his website, so I won’t cover that here. In short, Windows users need to install both ImageMagick and the plug-in, whereas Mac users only need to install the plug-in.

Once LR2/Mogrify is installed correctly, you’ll see the Post-Process Actions section in the lower left corner of the Lightroom Export dialog. LR2/Mogrify can be used in conjunction with any of the other standard export options, such as resizing, sharpening, etc., and before any other export plug-ins.


First of all, let’s look at borders. Click on Borders in the Post-Process Actions and press Insert to add that panel to the Export Options. To add a border, select the width for each edge and the colour – and repeat for additional borders. You can alternative different widths and colours to create more interesting borders, or you can just keep it simple. The results of layering multiple borders can be seen below.

Now how about signing your image? Going back to the Post-Process Actions section and selecting Text Annotation is one option. You can choose the size, font, and positioning of the Text Annotation. You can even use that same Text Annotation section to add the EXIF data about your image using the ‘Add Token’ button to select the information to show.

One thing to be aware of – if nothing seems to be happening with the Text Annotation, try a different font. Mogrify can be a bit fussy about which fonts it will use! If your preferred font isn’t working, you can always use a graphical watermark instead – we’ll come back to those in a moment.

And here’s the result of those combined settings:

But what if you need to overlay a heavier watermark, or you want to add a graphical logo instead? Again, it’s simply a case of selecting the correct Post-Process Action – in this case the ‘Graphical Watermark’ option. You’ll need to have created your watermark image in a pixel editor such as Photoshop, and if you want to include transparency, you’re best off using PSD rather than PNG files, as there are some controls unavailable for PNG resizing.


These are just a few of the options available – have a play, and see what you can come up with. To get you started, I’ve uploaded the Export Templates and watermarks that I’ve used – you’re welcome to download them from here: http://www.lightroomqueen.com/downloads/mogrify-downloads.zip If you unzip the downloaded folder, you’ll find 2 folders inside – ‘Export Templates Mogrify’ and ‘Watermarks’. To install the Export Templates, put the ‘Export Templates Mogrify’ folder inside the Export Presets folder – you can check the location on your system by going to Lightroom’s Preferences dialog, choosing the Presets tab, and pressing the ‘Show Lightroom Presets Folder’ button. Obviously the presets are looking for watermarks and fonts on my system, so you’ll need to update the locations to point to the files on your own computer system.

If you have any problems, drop by www.lightroomforums.net and we’ll talk you through it!


  1. Thanks for the great write-up! We’ve played with LR2 Mogrify at our studio, and even donated a little to Mr. Armes’s great work. But we did run into some serious image quality problems that stopped us cold. We found some kind of image weirdness in people with sandy-blonde hair. I’m not sure how to describe it, but the Mogrify process definitely created unusable prints. For some reason, it flat-out refused to work on certain .DNG files, and there didn’t seem to be a way to predict when it would fail and when it would work. I’m guessing these problems aren’t Mr. Armes’s fault, but that they reside somewhere in the underlying Mogrify code library. Just thought I’d point it out!

    [Andrew, what settings were you using? I’ve never seen or heard of any other weirdness like, but it may have been introduced by Mogrify’s resizing or something like that. I’d love to try to reproduce it and see if we can find a workaround for you. Re: the DNG files, again, it would be interesting to try to reproduce that and find out what’s going on. Feel free to drop by http://www.lightroomforums.net if you fancy investigating with us! – VB]

  2. I searched high and low for this exact thing LAST WEEK. The funny thing is you were the first place I turned to find a watermarking tool but aparently you were already about to post this and I was just premature! Anyway I stumbled across this very tool and I set it up and I love it.

  3. Dean Taplin says:

    Thanks for the excellent tutorial. I like the border effect.

  4. Christian says:

    Thanks for the tip – have been looking for a watermark solution better than the simple one built in to LR2.
    The only issue I hit was unlucky me chose a font that was not a “.ttf” (it was an OpenType font on Mac) and thus the text never came out. Picked a different font and now it works great. Sure beats my old solution of overlaying a watermark graphic via photoshop.

  5. Having some problems – seems to have installed OK. I can choose LR/Mogrify in the Export window (under Export Files On Disk, Files on CD/DVD) but I have no Post-Process Actions section.

    I’ve tried doing the Text Annotation but nothing seems to work – I’ve tried several fonts.

    Any ideas?

    [Which version of Lightroom Scott? Sounds like version 1? You could drop Tim an email via his website, or drop by http://www.lightroomforums.net and we’ll help you troubleshoot. The Lightroom Forums is down for system maintenance right now (5PM GMT, Wednesday 1/7) but should be up again soon. – VB

  6. Wow I think I downloaded the wrong version.

    User error :)

    [I love user error – it’s so easy to fix! ;-) – VB]

  7. Theodoro de Molina says:

    Pls, I want to watermark the date, but without the time in mogrify on lr. The OrginalDateTime token works but puts the date and time and i dont want the time. Have you a solution for this?

    [None that I’m aware of, however contact Tim Armes, and he may be able to come up with something. His details are: http://timothyarmes.com/contact.php?lang=en-gb -vb]

    [Tim’s quick! Apparently the modifiers for LR/Transporter also work for LR2/Mogrify – see them all here: http://timothyarmes.com/lrtransporter.php?sec=tokens – so I would use {dateTime[%m/%d/%Y]} to get the date only in US format – VB]

  8. This plugin seems like great solution to lightroom 2’s limited watermark capabilities, but I’m having trouble creating watermark images. I make a simple transparent psd file with photoshop cs3, containing text, and when lightroom exports it with Mogrify, the text is really fuzzy. Even when I used your sample watermarks, they seemed fuzzy. I also had trouble putting a watermark to any image larger than 72 dpi. Do you know why the text would be fuzzy? Thanks.

    [Ignore 72ppi, as that means nothing in this situation. What’s the overall image size – full resolution or resizing down? I’d guess the overall pixel size for the photo is too big for the watermark, or vice versa, and the watermark is having to be enlarged to fit. Why not try it again with the image resize in the main Export dialog set to about 1000 pixels and see if that works for you. If you’re still having trouble, drop by http://www.lightroomforums.net and we’ll get you sorted in no time. – VB

  9. “you’ll see the Post-Process Actions section in the lower left corner of the Lightroom Export dialog. LR2/Mogrify can be used in conjunction with any of the other standard export options, such as resizing, sharpening, etc., and before any other export plug-ins.”

    1st of all I do not get this. I do not see Post-Process actions when I go to export. I am searching everywhere in LR. I have LR1 not 2. Everything that is viewed above, is completely different than that I see. I dont see where I can create my own watermark. The watermark comes up on the image, but not one I can edit.

    [It was different in LR1, so the instructions above won’t be exactly the same. For a start, you’ll want to update to LR 1.4, and you’ll need a different version of LR/Mogrify – http://www.timothyarmes.com/lrmogrify.php. If you still can’t get it working, drop by http://www.lightroomforums.net and we’ll talk you through it. – VB]

  10. Okay, now I found “post-processing” at the bottom of the export dialog. It gives me a choice to choose LRmodify after I export image, but it doesn’t do anything after I click export. It just exports image with a plain copyright. Does the image have to be exported as a .tiff. Does size of file matter?

  11. Having problems adding a drop-shadow to a textual watermark.

    In Photoshop I created solid white text then added a drop shadow (via Layer | Layer Style | Drop Shadow…). When I use the resulting .psd file with LR2/Mogrify however the drop shadow comes out white resulting in blurry looking text. (If I save the same .psd as a .png, that works fine although then of course I can’t resize the watermark.)

    Anyone tried this successfully? (I suppose it could be my old version of Photoshop — 7.0.) Why bother with a drop-shadow you might ask? I think it looks a bit better, and will be harder to remove.

    [I haven’t seen anything like that other than on one occasion the watermark file was in CMYK instead of RGB, so that might be worth checking. If that doesn’t do the trick, check you’ve updated to the latest version, and then drop Tim an email or post on http://www.lightroomforums.net and he’s sure to know the answer. – VB]

  12. Is there a way to export images with TWO watermarks? I’d like to overlay mine plus the watermark from the blog I shoot for. Any help is much appreciated.

    [Both graphical watermarks? As far as I know, only by combining the into a single image file in PS first. You could send Tim Armes a request and he may be able to add a second graphical watermark facility. – VB]

  13. Brian Hach says:

    I am having a little trouble installing export templates into LR2. I have downloaded, unzipped, and placed the file in my export preset folder. They come up within LR under presets however, I get “can’t use post-production action” and then the link back to timothy’s website. I must have done something wrong and wondering. Also, the watermark folder is there also but nothing shows under post-production actions for either.


    [So ignoring the export actions and watermarks for a minute, have you followed Tim’s instructions to install LR/Mogrify, and also the Mogrify program if you’re on Windows? – VB]

  14. Brian Hach says:

    Thanks for a quick reply. I have imagemagick installed and mogrify plugin. I didn’t have in configured properly and still think it is incorrect. What is the specific file I should point it to under the imagemagick folder? That should be a start. I have it now directed at display as there is not a mogrify.exe to direct too. There is nothing showing under post-processing actions like on the tutorial. Boy, how can I goof up a tutorial!!!

  15. Brian Hach says:

    I got it pointed to the .exe file now.

  16. Brian Hach says:

    I still show nothing under the post-processing actions.

    [Hi Brian. It sounds like LR/Mogrify’s still not installed quite right. Do you fancy dropping by http://www.lightroomforums.net and we’ll give you a hand to figure out what’s gone wrong. It’s easier than trying to talk in blog comments. – VB]

  17. Long story short. LRforums is awesome and immediately I received great help. I uploaded the LR/Mogrify instead of LR2?Mogrify. I went with the higher version which happens to be the earlier version.

    Next up – I would like to use Litho Pro font and it seems as if I will be unable to do this.

    [Brilliant Brian, I’m really pleased the guys were able to help. I will catch up with you soon over there myself – just catching up with a backlog of work this week.

    Mogrify – the program itself rather than just the plugin – can be a bit fussy about fonts. If you find one it won’t use, use it to create a graphical watermark in PSD and then let Mogrify use that, and you’ll be all set. – VB]

  18. hi! could help me because im having a hard time doing my graphic watermark? how can i make one? i dont know how to make transparent png file..thanks

    [Hi Kurt. You’d usually use Photoshop or some other image editing software, create a file with no background colour (just delete the background layer so you see the transparency checkboard) and then when you go to Save As, choose PNG or PSD from the file types. – VB]

  19. I’m new to LR2 Mogrify. I am trying to do watermarks but they seem to vary in size between landscape and portrait shots. Any way to use the percentage options to make them the same size, or is there some other way?

    [That’s an excellent questions Larry. I’m not sure if you can do it be percentage, but to use pixels from the same dropdown will do the trick. – VB]

  20. Pixels don’t seem to work either. If the picture, in landscape, is 2000px by 1000px, setting the width to 500px would make the watermark cover one quarter of the picture. If that same resolution picture is turned to portrait orientation the watermark would cover half the screen and then not be as tall either. The percentage options seem like they would work but only if percentage of width could be used. Any other ideas?

    [Perhaps I’m misunderstanding what you’re trying to achieve. Have you updated to the latest build, because Tim’s done some adjustments to how the resizing now works. – VB]

  21. I think I have the latest code. What I’m trying to do is to put a watermark in the lower left corner that is 25% of the bottom edge. The percent of short edge option works great for portraits but then is smaller on landscapes. The percent of long edge, of course, does just the opposite. Is there a way to make it consistent? I hope that makes more sense.

    [Ah, I’m with you. I don’t think that’s possible – I can get a consistent size across portraits and landscapes, but not based on the current orientation. Sounds like one for a feature request to Tim. Drop him an email – he’s very receptive to ideas. – VB]

  22. Thanks!

  23. Hi! Thanks for the post! If you don’t mind, I’ve took your idea and made a post in brazilian portuguese, covering the process of downloading and installing the whole “pack”. And cite your blog. (If you are curious, see http://www.marlon.net/2009/09/03/bordas-e-watermark-no-lightroom/ )

    [Thanks Marlon! – VB]

  24. Hi Victoria,

    I just updated from LR1 to LR2. I have edited catalogs I would like to keep from LR1. Is there a way I can put them into LR2?

    [Just open the LR1 catalogs into LR2, and it’ll ask you to upgrade them to use with LR2. If the color labels don’t show up, check that you’ve got the label sets named the same way. – VB]

  25. I have a wedding that is organized by color in LR1.

  26. Ron Anderson says:

    I just installed morgify and ImageMagick to be used in LR2 on a PC. At first I tried to place a watermark banner on the image, but received an error message. So I thought I would get my feet wet a bit by using the text attonation but there are NO font names in the scroll down. What do I need to do?

    [Try reinstalling, and double check you’ve got the correct ImageMagick download. – VB]

  27. great! thank you…I wanted to make adjustments in my image using the brush tool. When I use the brush tool it disappears from a circle to an arrow. I have used other LR2’s and I know that can be changed, but I dont know how. I wantt o see the area I am brushing over, not an arrow, for it is not accurate. Thank you

    [I can’t figure out how you got an arrow, so I’d say that’s a bug. I’d make sure you’ve updated to 2.5, and if that still doesn’t do the trick, delete the preferences file and you should be back to normal. – VB]

  28. Before I click to adjust I have a double circle..then I click and it turns into an arrow. Its a new LR2, so Im just trying to adjust it to work the way i need it to.

    [Yes, I definitely can’t replicate that. Have you trashed the preferences yet? – VB]

  29. This is an odd question, but does LR2 edit video clips?

    [It’s not that odd a question, as many DSLR’s now shoot video, but the answer’s no. One day it may be able to catalog those files (Jeffrey Friedl already has a plugin that can do so), but I wouldn’t expect to see editing anytime soon. – VB]

  30. i love you!!!!! :D
    this is awesomeness!!!

    i’ve been trying to figure out mogrify for a long time now!!!

    but, there is one question… why dont the templates work with me? because i get an error message when trying to import them… !! :S

    [What does the error message say? There have been a few Lr2/Mogrify updates since I uploaded the templates, so they may have changed in that time. – VB]

  31. Thank you so much! I’ve been trying to figure out how to do this for awhile. This was VERY helpful!

  32. In RE: great! thank you…I wanted to make adjustments in my image using the brush tool. When I use the brush tool it disappears from a circle to an arrow. I have used other LR2’s and I know that can be changed, but I dont know how. I wantt o see the area I am brushing over, not an arrow, for it is not accurate. Thank you

    [I can’t figure out how you got an arrow, so I’d say that’s a bug. I’d make sure you’ve updated to 2.5, and if that still doesn’t do the trick, delete the preferences file and you should be back to normal. – VB]

    I dont know what happened, but I didn’t do anything and I’m not getting the arrow anymore. Go figure. Dont do anything and the program fixes itself. LOL who knew. Thanks though.

  33. I just installed mogrify and have been able to add borders and logo to my images that I export from Lightroom, but now I have the problem of what to do when I just want to export the photos alone, without borders and logo. Can you explain how I can do this without having to de-install mogrify?

    [Stacey, in the post-processing panel on the lower left you can uncheck any elements you don’t want to use, including LR/Mogrify. Just select the Mogrify sections and press the Remove button below to exclude them. – VB]

  34. This is wonderful! Thank you for your generous advise!

  35. similar issue from a user above – no fonts to select and I have re-installed 3 times and I had this working on my previous laptop. Your initial comments were to install the correct ImageMagic…so the question I first have is what is the correct one for Windows 7 (64 bit). Also I downloaded version 4.21 – is that the right one. All 3 of my attempts to have the plugin indicating that Installed/and running. I also don’t see the .exe file anywhere even though the path i entered shows installed and running

    [Domenic, for a start, I’d start with something else – maybe trying adding a graphical watermark to verify that LR/Mogrify is indeed working. And then drop by http://www.lightroomforums.net and we’ll see if we can get you sorted – it’s easier to troubleshoot on a forum than blog comments. – VB]

  36. Great, been dying to get this sorted for ages, I knew there was a was in light room to do teh watermarking. Glad I found LR2/Mogify and this tutorial help a lot , cheers

    I’ll be on this site more often now

  37. Hi I just installed Mogrify on my Lightroom 2, they are both updated and current. I have even made a donation to get the full version of the product. I am having two problems so far:

    1 – Watermark will not work at all. I have checked my version to some of the tutorials and seems that my version is missing the check box “overlay watermark”. Have you seen this problem before?

    2 – Annotation I am having the same problem. I am missing the check box “add text annotation”

    any suggestions?

    Thanks for your time.


    [Sounds a bit odd. Probably easiest to chat on the forum to investigate what’s going wrong – drop by http://www.lightroomforums.net and we’ll get you sorted. – VB]

  38. Hello! Pleasd coudl you help? I am running LR2 and according to the Plugin Manager all is installed and enabled! I don’t see a Post processing Actions folder in the export wondow? Any ideas?

    [Tough to troubleshoot without more information, but drop by http://www.lightroomforums.net and we’ll get you sorted out. – VB]

  39. Hello, I have correctly installed both Mogrify and image Magick… Took me a LONG time to figure out. Thankfully I can see all the post processing options and everything all done exactly as specified. :)

    My problem is I am trying to add borders exactly as you did above… I have it all done.. all 5 borders, but when I export the picture… they aren’t there. Any ideas?

    [Does it work if you do anything else? Perhaps a single border? Or a text watermark? – VB]

  40. Angela Larson says:

    Regarding the post processing actions not showing up – that happened to me too – I had downloaded the wrong version (I had Lightroom 2.0 and I downloaded the software for the earlier version… try re-downloading) – it made me crazy until I figured it out! Good luck!

  41. Angela Larson says:

    Can you please, please tell me how to do the band watermark? I am spending way too much time trying to figure this out :)

    [Did you download the templates? That should set it up for you. – VB]

  42. Hi there,

    I’ve been using Mogrify for a couple of months, but I regularly get errors saying that it cannot run, and Lightroom often crashes during an export too. Is this behaviour you’ve seen before? I’d like to make a contribution and get it unlocked, but with these issues that seems like a bad idea!


    [I haven’t seen that Tom. Which Mogrify version and which LR version? – VB]

  43. For some reason I can’t get this to work. I have a PC and installed the plug-in. I can’t get beyond the configuration menu. I downloaded imagemagic and put the path to the application in the configuration box

    C:Program FilesImageMagick-6.6.3-Q16imdisplay.exe

    It keeps giving me an unable to export error.

    [Drop by http://www.lightroomforums.net and we’ll help you figure it out. – VB]

    Any suggestions? I am running windows XP and downloaded the 16 bit DLL version as instructed

  44. Hello.
    Thank you very much for the tutorial. I have now managed to get watermarks on my images!
    My only question is, When i go to export my images, and i get the box up it might just be me but my system suddenly slows right down and i get the turning wheel of colour death :( It does this for about a minute then works normally again. I wonder if its my system or the plug in?

    [Hmmm. Just try removing the plug-in temporarily and see if that solves it. – VB]

  45. Hi victoria love your presets using lrmogrify2 as of today could you convert your examples to LR 3 and latest version of mogrify.

    If i try to use them then things are missing for example the border settings

    [I’ll put it on my to do list Wingie! – VB]

  46. shirbit says:

    Hi…I thought this was a useful tool until I made a ‘donation’ and discovered you can’t add a watermark to web gallery photos. It will only watermark one image at a time, so in effect, you can add a watermark just as easily using Photoshop. There’s no benefit to this tool as far as I can see.

    [Shirley, I think you’ve misunderstood. Although it doesn’t allow you to add watermarks using the Web module, it does allow you to watermark multiple images in one go while exporting via the Export dialog. That’s the purpose that’s advertised. If you want to use it to watermark a gallery, you can still do so, but you’d need to export through the Export dialog to create the watermarked JPEGs, and then load those into a web gallery. – VB]

  47. Jonathan says:


    I have used lrmorgify2 in LR2 using the band with name watermark. The result matched your example. However when I upgraded to LR3, the semi-transparent banner is now almost black instead of the light 40% gray as it used to be. Any suggestions on how to get it back to the color shown in your example? I’ve tried, but the color just gets darker.

    [Hi Jonathan. I’ve just tried the latest update and it seems ok here. Have you updated LRMogrify recently? Are you Mac or Windows based? – VB]

  48. I downloaded the plug-in, but where do I get the fonts from? I can’t get the watermark to show on my images. I just want our company name in the bottom right corner.


    [Hi Darryl. You should be able to use fonts that are already on your computer in the standard fonts folder. If you want to know where that is, tell me your OS and I’ll find the fonts folder path for you. – VB]

  49. Feroz Khan says:

    Vic, any idea if this is compatible with LR4 on OSX Snow Leopard?

  50. Thefriedbarron says:

    Hi Victoria,
    I would like to use LR2/Mogrify plug in but I’m having some difficulty installing the ImageMagick plug in. I’m using Windows 7 x64. Can you shed some light on how to install this so that I can use the LR2/Mogrify plug in.
    Thanks in advance.

  51. Drifter West Images.fototime says:

    Hello Victoria, Help!! I have a problem with (text annotation) on
    export. I get this error message after I
    hit the export a button. A screen shows (Failed to run Mogrify, aborting
    Export). Then a screen pops up … ./LRMogrifyExportTask.lua:117: canceled

    PhotosIMG_0087.JPG . Other parts
    of the Plug in run OK. Ex. graphical
    watermark works.

    in advance. Drifter LeVan.

  52. Pierre Bourgault says:

    heya… just found this write up (thanks!) as i started using LR2/Mogrify with LR4 for some exporting workflow ease. Having an issue, you might have an answer. I put a border around the images but want my name to appear ON the border and not on the image. Tried a -xx horizontal insert on the text annotation and no can do… any help?

    • Hi Pierre. There may be quicker ways, but I used Outer Border to add 30 pixels all the way round, and then Text Annotations with the ‘Add annotation before outer borders are applied’ unchecked and the positioning set to the bottom edge with no inset. Worked here, so hopefully that will work for you.

  53. toyotatundra says:

    Does this plugin work with LR5?


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